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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Antiquities Trafficking, Art Crime, Looting and Cultural Heritage Destruction: Laws and Legislation

A guide to resources on criminal activities related to archaeological sites and antiquities including looting, trafficking, and destruction of cultural heritage by Ellen Belcher

Encyclopedia Articles

Fowler, D. D. (2008). Antiquities and Cultural Heritage Legislation. In D. M. Pearsall (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Archaeology (Vol. 1, pp. 448-451). Oxford, UK: Academic Press. [CUNY use only from Gale Virtual Reference Library]

Recent articles on Antiquities OR Cultural Property -- Laws and Legislation

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Law Review and Academic Articles

Try searching Antiquities AND law and legislation in Academic Search Complete for law reviews on this topic.

Here are a few recent articles:

Akhtar, Z. (2012). Theft in Babylon: Repatriation and International Law. Art, Antiquity & Law, 17(4), 325-346.

Alderman, K. L., & Dahm, C. S. (2014). National Treasure: A Comparative Analysis of Domestic Laws Criminalizing Illicit Excavation and Exportation of Archaeological Objects. Mercer Law Review, 65(2), 431-465.

Gerstenblith, P. p. (2012). 2011 Cultural heritage legal summary. Journal Of Field Archaeology, 37(4), 330-335.

Kaye, L. M. (1998) “Art Wars: The Repatriation Battle,” Journal of International Law and Politics , p. 79.

Kersel, M. M. (2008). A Focus on the Demand Side of the Antiquities Equation. Near Eastern Archaeology, 71(4), 230-233.

Mackenzie, S. M. (2005). DIG A BIT DEEPER: Law, Regulation and the Illicit Antiquities Market. British Journal Of Criminology, 45(3), 249-268. doi:10. 1093/bjc/azhO99

Palmer, N. (2012). CASTING A LAMP ON DUE DILIGENCE. Art, Antiquity & Law, 17(2), 169-16.

Thompson, Erin L. (2015) "But We Didn't Steal It:" Collectors' Justifications for Purchasing Looted Antiquities. Journal of Art Crime  13, p59-67.

 Tseng, M. (2015). The Executive & the Environment: An Examination of the Antiquities Act from 1929-2000 in the United States. Journal Of Asia Pacific Studies, 4(1), 6-22.

Journals and Annuals

The Yearbook of Cultural Heritage is published by Left Coast Press on behalf of the LCCHP


Books on Art, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Laws

Rhodes, Robin Francis. (2007) The acquisition and exhibition of classical antiquities: professional, legal, and ethical perspectives.  Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press

Stacks - CC175 .A28 2007 also available as an ebook for CUNY users.


Hoffman, Barbara T. (2006) Art and cultural heritage: law, policy, and practice. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Stacks - K3791 .A97 2006

United States Laws and Legislation

Antiquities Act of 1906 information from the National Parks Service

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was enacted on November 16, 1990, information from the National Parks Service

The U.S. has recently signed many memorandums of understandings on antiquities trafficking and cultural property agreements with individual countries - many are cataloged on CUNY+ under the subject heading Cultural property -- Protection -- Law and legislation -- United States

The U.S. State Department, Cultural Heritage Center has a page with all current/expired Bilateral Agreements (MOUs) as well as a page listing applicable Laws, Conventions and Agreements related to Cultural Heritage.

United States Attorney's Bulletin special issues:

Legal Organizations on Cultural Heritage

The Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation (LCCHP) is a nonprofit organization of lawyers, law students and interested members of the public who have joined together to promote the preservation and protection of cultural heritage resources in the United States and internationally through education and advocacy.